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Overcoming Addiction and Destructive Habits

What is Addiction and How Can You Be Healed?

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Overcoming Addiction with a Recovery Program

Overcoming Addiction with a Recovery Program

Rachel Bruner
Do you, or someone you love, need help in overcoming an addiction? If so, there is hope. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through LDS Family Services, sponsors a free addiction recovery program (including support groups) which is available to help you and your loved ones in overcoming addiction and other destructive behaviors and habits.

You do not have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ to become involved in this program- all are welcome to seek healing and recovery from addiction and destructive habits through this free service.

What is Addiction?
An addiction is when a person becomes powerless to stop a destructive behavior, causing their life to become unmanageable.
"Some people consider addictions to be simply bad habits that can be conquered by willpower alone, but many people become so dependent on a behavior or a substance that they no longer see how to abstain from it. They lose perspective and a sense of other priorities in their lives" ("Introduction," A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing, v.)
Addictions and Destructive Habits
Substance abuse and destructive behaviors can include:Healing Through the Atonement
Making and achieving goals in overcoming addiction is a process, but it is possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Not only does Christ's atonement save us from physical death but we can be saved from spiritual death, including being saved from addiction. Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles said:
"There is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness" ("The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness," General Conference, Oct 1995).
The Church of Jesus Christ has adapted the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to incorporate our doctrines and beliefs which are available in the free booklet, A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing. This 12 step program was "Written with support from Church leaders and counseling professionals by those who have suffered from addiction and who have experienced the miracle of recovery through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."

The 12 Steps*
  1. HONESTY
    Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.

  2. HOPE
    Come to believe that the power of God can restore you to complete spiritual health.

  3. TRUST IN GOD
    Decide to turn your will and your life over to the care of God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

  4. TRUTH
    Make a searching and fearless written moral inventory of yourself.

  5. CONFESSION
    Admit to yourself, to your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ, to proper priesthood authority, and to another person the exact nature of your wrongs.

  6. CHANGE OF HEART
    Become entirely ready to have God remove all your character weaknesses.

  7. HUMILITY
    Humbly ask Heavenly Father to remove your shortcomings.

  8. SEEKING FORGIVENESS
    Make a written list of all persons you have harmed and become willing to make restitution to them.

  9. RESTITUTION AND RECONCILIATION
    Wherever possible, make direct restitution to all persons you have harmed.

  10. DAILY ACCOUNTABILITY
    Continue to take personal inventory, and when you are wrong promptly admit it.

  11. PERSONAL REVELATION
    Seek through prayer and meditation to know the Lord’s will and to have the power to carry it out.

  12. SERVICE
    Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, share this message with others and practice these principles in all you do.
*For a detailed explanation of each step, including what and how to achieve it, see A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing.

Healing and Recovery
As you learn how to apply these steps you will find healing and the ability to change your life. You can use this booklet with a counselor, therapist, bishop, online recovery program, or local addiction recovery support group. Contact your local LDS Family Services for the most current information and services available in your area.

Even if you don't believe it now, overcoming addiction and other destructive behaviors is possible. Act now and take the first step in overcoming addiction by seeking the help you need.

See the mental health category for additional resources, including online programs and support groups, for overcoming addictions and destructive behaviors. You will also find helpful resources for abuse, depression, bipolar, same-sex attraction, etc.
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